Verdun - Fort de Vaux

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A Gift of the Members of the Association

The Defenders of Fort de Vaux

In this fort of ruins 250 men resisted during seven days from June 1st through June 7th, 1916 furious assaults of the Germans with attacks of [poison] gas and flame throwers, and the torture of thirst.

For Pigeon Lovers

Died for France

The Pigeon of Verdun

From this fort during the Battle of Verdun on June 4, 1916, the last passenger pigeon of Commandant Raynal departed, carrying the following message:

 

"We are holding on but we are under attack from [poison] gas and shells. Very dangerous. Urgent we get away from all this ...... which does not respond to our calls for help. This is my last pigeon."

The pigeon accomplished its mission and earned the following citation:

In spite of enormous difficulties resulting from intense shelling and a huge emission of [poison] gas, [this pigeon] accomplished the mission which had been assigned to it by Commandant Raynal. As a unique means of communication from the heroic defenders of Fort du Vaux, it transmitted the last order which was received from this officer.

Severely poisoned, the pigeon arrived dying.

Looking west toward the giant ossuary

Looking from atop one of the turrets out over the the fort; the indentations are made from exploding shells

The barbed wire still stands

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